We haven’t been booked for any tours, support slots, larger venues, or for any festival appearances in 2023 so if you wish to catch us live, it will be at our local gigs only.
We did investigate future tour support bookings following our tour with Lillian Axe and Riot Act last year, however, we didn’t get any interest for any future supports. As is usually the case, there was no interest in our band for playing any of the medium to bigger size festivals in the UK/Europe for 2023 either. We are disappointed that we weren’t able to follow up last year with a further tour, or some bigger gig and festival offers, but this is the nature of the business and we will work harder this year to try and progress.
If you do want to see us live this year, we will be playing our usual small venue shows as and when we are offered, these will largely be free entry gigs, or for a low ticket price. Our first (and so far only) of these for 2023 is in Chelmsford this month and you can find more details of this event here. We will continue to be as honest and upfront with our supporters about our situation. We hope to see you at a gig soon!
The challenges we face as bands, musicians, venues, and promoters are numerous right now, but as proven in recent weeks, many are still doing well. The question is, how?
Before we can get to that, we need to understand how the climate has changed and adapt.
What we have to remember is that for the underground Rock and Metal scene in the UK to continue to thrive and grow is that we have to create a culture of encouraging people to come out to live music events on Friday and Saturday nights again.
That means we as bands have to not only promote ourselves effectively, both online and offline but also be good enough live, and engaging enough to draw people out and continue to draw people out. The challenge for venues/promoters is to adequately communicate to their natural audience what type of events they are running and to be engaged and understanding to their audience and to tailor their bookings to meet their taste.
So what are we competing with in 2022?
Up until the early 2000’s, there was a culture in this country of going out Friday and Saturday nights, which meant many venues didn’t have to work as hard to draw people out, especially for live music, as they had a natural audience who came out of habit to their venue or events because that was what they did in their leisure time. A bit like how football fans will watch their team’s home games every other Saturday. It’s a habit, they turn out, and thus the games have a natural audience. We in Rock/Metal have failed to achieve that same mentality with our core audience.
Since the old days, the world has changed, and now we are competing with Netflix, YouTube, PlayStation, and cheap store-bought alcohol. The natural behavior for people, especially in the under 30’s demographic, is to stay inside rather than go out to a venue for a drink, let alone live music. People don’t go out to meet a potential partner in the same way as before either, most dating is done online rather than out in bars and pubs like generations past. The current audience habit is many who do love Rock and Metal will prefer to save up for say a Bloodstock/Download style event once or twice a year and see a handful of bigger bands when they play their hometown. It’s more cost-effective to do it that way, especially with major festivals, because you get a lot of bang for your buck and can see a ton of bands over 3 days.
The question you need to ask is, why would people come out to see my band/event over what they can do at home for free?
Some certain promoters and venues are presently unable to understand these challenges and frankly have fallen so far behind the times it is damaging the efforts of those trying to buck the trend. They don’t even use a mailing list to communicate the events to their audience.
The scene needs to move away from using Facebook events and poorly designed, and often pixelated gig posters as a cover photo-only style promotion. We need to invest in the promotion, using mediums such as Google Ads, Meta (Facebook/Instagram), TikTok promotion, and so on as well as posters in the venue and flyers if you are able. We need to target our campaigns to those people who actually will most likely attend the events and continue to remind them the event is happening. We need to use tools like Bandcamp, and Postcodes to target those people who have already bought from us as bands to alter them of the events happening in their area.
We can not rely on any free promotion on social media as the algorithms are designed to hide the posts and push forward those who are paying for them. Posting events in a 1000 Facebook groups with no paid promotion will result in poor attendance as nobody will see it.
Moving away from Facebook is important, most people under 40 aren’t using Facebook and have moved over to TikTok and Instagram, even for messages, they use WhatsApp and not Facebook. By all means, keep up with Facebook but use the other tools as well. If people aren’t responding, do some research, learn how to use the new tools, it’s simple enough and be ready to spend some money to push your events.
We as a scene need to have professionally designed posters, and promotion that communicates the event in simple terms, and to survive we have to engage with the younger audience by matching the level of quality they are used to from their favorite bands, YouTubers, podcasters and so on. If you fail to do that, and your promotion looks cheap, dated, and lazy by comparison you will not get this group out. If the promotional material looks poor quality, people will assume the event will be of low quality also.
Four band logos on a black background with a date and time doesn’t tell the audience anything. 99% of people won’t know who the bands are, so won’t turn out, however, if you are running a Black Metal night, you can promote that first and foremost and target Black Metal fans in the local area and that is the draw, rather than the bands who won’t be known to the audience. Bands themselves are also naïve in thinking that people know who they are. Sticking your name and a date/time on a Facebook event is not enough information.
Speaking of bands, many are just as guilty of failing to adapt to the times and sometimes fall into the trap of repeating the same mistakes and then complaining it’s not working when nobody attends. The question bands need to ask when a gig fails is, did you do enough to let everyone who might be interested in that area that the gig was on?
It’s hard work being a band in 2022, you not only have to write the music, rehearse, pay for the recording, self-release, and so on, you have to be a promoter as well and you have to keep up with the times. You may feel that you don’t want to do the promotional side of things, and that’s fair enough, but understand if you leave it to others, the results could well be poor.
Bands have to understand that a gig isn’t just a place to perform, it’s a market, it’s your market stall, your performance is an advertisement to encourage people to buy your CDs, vinyl, shirts, and so on from the merch stand. If you are going to quibble about spending a few quid on promotion then why are you printing merch? Would you rather lose a little money on the promotion in the short term and play to a packed venue and potentially sell a ton of merch, or keep that £20 and play to a handful and sell next to nothing? If you are aiming to “go-pro” then you should treat all of this as a business anyway. Advertising is essential for any business and it costs money and takes time to do.
The price of gigs is important as well, especially with a cost of living/fuel crisis squeezing UK residents harder than ever post-pandemic. People’s money for living is not going as far, and thus if you charge over a fiver for events you may restrict your audience further. If you are a bit more established you may get away with charging a bit more, but that depends where you are a lot of the time too. Especially when staying home is free, and people have so many other options now. As stated previously, many people’s habit is to save and go to a bigger festival, so you need to figure out how to draw that audience to your event as well.
Think of it this way, if you were to pay to download a game, would you pay over a fiver for something you had never heard of? Would you pay upwards of £10 to go see a film when you didn’t know what it was or even who the cast was? Would you pay over £20 to see a football match where you didn’t know which either team was or who was even playing? You probably wouldn’t. You need to apply this logic to promoting your music and events.
As well as advertising and pricing, the timing of the event is also important. If you are an unknown band (or are promoting unknown bands) then you need to choose a night of the week the most natural audience will be available to see it, you need to communicate and stick to the start time and it needs to be days/times most people are comfortable coming out. If you have a more popular band on, you can get away with a different day of the week as they will naturally draw people out. If not Friday/Saturday nights are your safest bet.
The quality of the sound is another big issue. Venues need to pay for a good PA and maintain it with a sound person who knows how to operate it. If you do all the work to promote the show, get a good turnout and people pay a fiver to get in and it sounds awful, that audience will not come back and you will have lost all that hard work. That also goes for the quality of bands you book, if they aren’t up to the audience’s taste or expected standard those people you worked so hard to get out won’t likely come back.
Consistently poor sound will result in a dwindling audience. People are used to a higher standard of audio quality these days, and your sound/stage setup needs to meet their expectations if they are going to continue to pay to get into your venue and thus continue to buy drinks. Gigs that have no audible vocals, too much bass, and a ton of feedback are all too common and it drives people away. Also, offer earplugs for loud events, it is cheap, and your audience will appreciate it! Also, hire a good soundperson, not just rely on a mate.
A clean venue also helps, if your toilets look terrible, are broken, and stink that will put people off going. A messy, dirty, old venue won’t encourage a new audience out, keep it clean looking, keep it modern, if it’s a music venue, make it the focus of the venue, not a side attraction, especially if you are booking originals bands.
Also understand while there is some crossover, original bands and covers/tributes have different audiences and tastes. Covers bands can be quite happy to be paid to be just the live music for that night in the pub or venue, however original bands want an engaging audience, potential new fans, and people who will buy the merch. While being paid is good, to be background music for a nights drinking with a disengaged and disinterested audience in a pub isn’t worth it for the originals band. Of course originals bands can avoid this by trying to draw that audience out themselves, but it is something to bear in mind.
So what can be done to improve event turnouts?
You need to target the correct demographics for the events you are running. Use keywords and targets that relate to the bands/events you have booked. Target the local area, don’t be so broad brush, keep it as defined as possible. Use Google Ads, Meta Business Suite, and TikTok promotions to target your audience on social media. Be as clear as day with the communication. Tell people EXACTLY what the event is and what the bands may sound like. You can target an audience’s taste right down to the genre and the bands they like, and even directly to the postcode areas where the venue is.
In terms of free promotion, have a well-designed professional poster/s to be sent to the venues ahead of the gig, design flyers for handing out in that town, or use a mailing list to send them to those in that area who you know might like the event. You need good branding and good image quality. Do not ever use jpegs for images as the quality is atrocious, and if you are doing anything with audio, NEVER use mp3’s as they sound terrible.
Use an emailing tool like MailChimp to send email reminders promoting the show and encourage as many pre-sales as possible. Bandcamp allows bands to export all their sales and Excel can separate the sales right down to the postcode area. Be good at data management and it will pay off.
As for Facebook, you can still run Facebook events, but remember to invite the people who might actually attend the event, sometimes people either invite no one, or blanket invite people 100’s of miles away from the venue which is just lazy.
It takes a combination of tools to make an event a success.
Understanding your audience is also important. Trying to promote an NWOBHM event to the under 40’s that isn’t say Iron Maiden won’t be as successful, in the same way promoting a Metalcore gig to people over 40 isn’t likely to be successful. Know your audience, know who might like the music, and work to get those people out. Don’t waste your time and money on people who will never attend the show. Don’t believe everyone is going to like your music/event just because you do. Some people do like everything, but they are a minority.
Ultimately if you are not spending to advertise, aren’t communicating to anyone directly what your event is when it is, and doing the bare minimum promotional wise then you will not get a good turnout. The scene isn’t dead, many are doing very well right now, but they have adapted to the times, they know their audience and they working hard to get a good turnout.
I realise I have written a lot of thoughts down here, so I will stop but I hope my blog post has been useful to you!
The album, originally released in 2014 has sold out for the 4th and final time on CD with vinyl version having sold out a number of years ago. A full statement on how many copies were sold/streamed will be released at a later date. The Waystone is Kaine’s best selling album and best known for the lead single “Iron Lady”.
There will be no further print runs of this album, it has been removed from digital platforms and will become a Bandcamp Members only release which can be found here along with many other exclusives including the bands debut album Falling Through Freedom, which is also no longer available to buy. Some copies remain on re-sellers sites such as Discogs which can be found here.
The band re-recorded for of the songs from the album for a limited edition EP release which can still be bought on CD here. Less than a 100 copies remain to buy on CD. A handful of Waystone patches are also available to order here. Both of these were released to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of the original album.
Kaine have sadly had to cancel their Scotland dates for 2018 due to a combination of issues starting the lack of availability of the Vauxhall van for the trip, work schedules (due to cancelled holiday which was out of our hands) and support bands having to unfortunately also pull out of the shows themselves. We never take such a decision lightly however, we decided given everything it would be best to leave it at this stage and look to hopefully return in future.
In addition to the cancelled Scotland dates, our upcoming dates in Coventry and Chelmsford have been cancelled by the promoters/venues.
This is my final installment of The Waystone story. I haven’t been able to write any of late due to real life stuff getting in the way.
Once we had finished the album, the artwork was drawn up and the first run of CD’s were printed due for an August release. The plan now to “launch” Kaine was to have us go out on tour with Monument prior to the albums release on their album launch tour.
We played the Luna Lounge in Leytonstone with The Raven Age (featuring George Harris, so of Steve of Iron Maiden fame) and then we were off on Tour. Before the tour had been booked, Monument lost their bass player and Chris Dale (former Bruce Dickinson and Tank bassist) was drafted in to replace him. Due to his schedule he wasn’t able to do the tour and thus Dan was asked to play in Monument for that tour, and he was to be paid for those shows with the band.
Drama struck on the day before the tour when the vehicle hire place refused to allow Dan to use the vehicle we had hired in advance due his age. The frustrating thing about this was the fact Dan had already informed them of his age before I gave them the money weeks prior which left us with no vehicle. We spent the day trying to hire/buy a vehicle and eventually we bought a car which ended up costing me £900 I couldn’t really afford which the back line didn’t fit in anyway! So we had to ditch that car and use both Dan and Chris’s regular vehicles. We had lost £900 and we had not even left yet!
Our first gig was at the Rebellion Bar in Manchester. Unfortunately the audience was short changed on their admission fee due to the absolutely abysmal sound both on and off stage. Originally we were told that we weren’t going to be miced up and we would set out own levels which we did only to be told seconds before going stage that were to be miced up and had to turn down. The monitors on stage didn’t work for either the vocals or guitars and the end result is we heard nothing and neither did the audience as next to nothing was coming out front of house either. The crowd was actually really good and receptive but not any larger then we would get back home, and it was quite unique to see so many people sitting down for the show. In the end I asked the audience if they actually wanted to hear some guitars, to which they responded positively and I just bumped my amp up to a decent level and smashed the rest of the set out at real volume. Monuments sound didn’t fair any better with most of the guitars and bass non existent throughout the set and even the vocals were struggling. It was a real mess and not the start to a tour we would have hoped for.
We also met Lee Farmery of Furyon fame for the first time this night (well Dan had met him previously in rehearsals) which was really cool, Chris had always been a fan of Furyon and would often play them in the car to and from gigs which subsequently made me a fan of the band too. It’s weird how these things work out sometimes. Lee would actually go on to give the band it’s biggest ever opportunity which I will explain later on in this blog.
We had our first falling out with Peter Ellis (our manager at the time) after the show with him referring to myself as being aggressive and Chris as being disrespectful to him. This would all play out during the tour.
After Manchester we headed down to Sheffield to play the Corporation which was a much better experience as the sound on stage and off was spot on and the crowd was bigger than Manchester but still not huge by any standards. This was also the night that Peter Ellis informed us that he had split with Akis (producer of The Waystone) and that we wouldn’t be working with him any longer. We called a band meeting without him and decided that we would be working with Akis regardless. The gig was hurt by the fact the venue had a club night on with DJ’s at the same time so many of the audience filtered out during the night. We were also hurried out of the venue to pack gear away which is always a nightmare. Dan was on stage with Monument at the time and Anthony was looking after both merch stands so I and Chris had to pack up our entire back line as the club night started which wasn’t fun.
We then went down to Birmingham to play The Flapper. Again, as with Sheffield the sound was perfect but there was next to no people there and one of the lowest turnouts for a gig we had experienced. Touring is often glorified but the reality is very different if you’re an unknown band like ours, you will find yourself losing money and playing to very few people and that’s why many bands simply don’t bother with it at our level.
Things picked up for our next date in Scotland at the Stereo in Glasgow. It was extremely well attended and one of our best ever gigs, both in terms of audience reaction and our personal performance. It was this show that actually got us booked on Wildfire the following year so a significant gig for us. It was also my first ever trip to Scotland, somewhere I had always wanted to visit and I was instantly very impressed with Glasgow as a City and Scotland as a whole. We were treated extremely well. Both Dan and Chris’s fathers are Scottish and Ant was born there when his father was in the Royal Air Force so they had all been there before I had.
There were a couple of funny moments in Cumbernauld where we staying. The first being was Dan’s van ran out diesel meaning I had to push it to the service station and when we came back we were able to convince Ant and Chris that Dan had decided to leave the band after the tour which they believed until I started laughing. Dan had to face away from them when I was telling them why we had been so late so he wouldn’t laugh! On our trip to get some food whilst walking along the road leading from the Travelodge, I was suddenly hit with a thud of something hard and wet that Chris had just kicked. I had instantly thought Chris had kicked roadkill at me leaving me wet and dirty. In anger I kicked this “roadkill” back to find it exploded into pieces. It turned out this was an Andrex Puppy and while I kicked it the head came clean off and it ended up on top of someone’s car.
After Glasgow it was straight across to Edinburgh another city I was instantly impressed with and probably the best place I have ever visited. We met up with the guys from Culloden in Andrew, Karl and Graeme who had come up to the show from the North East of England by train and joined us for our visit around the city which was great fun and a huge laugh., although we did end up with parking tickets as a result. The show itself went well enough but wasn’t as well attended as Glasgow. I did enjoy the fact they had an air condition on the stage in the venue, called Bannermans which is actually a really cool rock venue.
It was after this night that everything started to go pear shaped. On our way back down to England it had transpired that Ant and Dan had inadvertently witnessed something that Peter Ellis didn’t want them to see and was pretty upset with them to the point of being very unprofessional in his response to this. I will elaborate on this whole debacle later as I plan to put more details down in a book at some point. I didn’t take his behavior very well and considering we were paying him to manage us I found this unacceptable. We decided that night we weren’t going to work with him anymore and I discussed with Dan exactly how it would go down and exactly what I would do to both diffuse and take charge of the situation as anyone who knows me, knows that I won’t ever back down from a fight and I certainly won’t be intimidated by anyone. I was utterly offended by how he treated Dan and Ant and I was having none of it.
As ever there were politics behind it. Peter very much comes from the school of creating situations to benefit himself. He basically didn’t have a full time bass player and wanted Dan in his band, so in my view it was blatant that all of this was an attempt to cause us to split. What he failed to understand is we weren’t just four guys in a band thrown together but four best friends. We would never dream of damaging the band for one individuals gain and that’s why we still remain friends to this day even though both Dan and Ant are no longer with the band. It didn’t work and the whole episode was frankly embarrassing. Dan was hardly going to be allured to make the jump from Kaine to another band drawing as many people as we do anyway, it was hardly Metallica calling.
Chris had to leave the tour at this point due to the fact he had an University assessed performance to attend which was very important. We had asked James Balcombe to fill in for the date as he had been our friend for years and never had the opportunity to play a proper gig with us although we had jammed together many times before.
The final show of the Renegades tour was in London at the Barfly in Camden. It was a really strange night. Before the show Peter Ellis asked for a meeting, we entered a room and he asked me to sit down, I refused as I said I was going to speak standing up and he mistakenly tried to front me out. I said to him outright we wouldn’t be working with him ever again, that his behavior had been completely out of order. He backed off from me and decided to try and pick on Anthony and the two had a heated exchange before Dan basically told him to leave, which he did and we never spoke again after that. Ant was extremely angry and did well to keep his cool, he did however punch a the wall leaving a dent. In the end we stuck up for ourselves and did what was right. I said if he tried to get us blacklisted from any venues or tried to defame us in any way he would hear from my solicitor. The whole MGR thing aside from some of the positives I wrote about in the previous parts was a disaster for Kaine and this was the straw that broke the camels back.
We took to the stage at the Barfly which was rammed and played a phenomenal set and given what we had been through it was tough and Dan still had to play with Monument. James did great with the set and we got off stage to a huge applause and sold the most merch that night of the entire tour. In the audience was Tony Dolan of Venom/Atomcraft fame (as well as appearing in big Hollywood films such as Master and Commander!) who reviewed the sow for Metal Temple. It was really cool to have met him as his aggressive vocal style and showmanship as a front man had been a huge influence on mine with Prime Evil being one of my favorite albums of all time. After the show, again we were hurried out of the venue so they could start their club night and that was that. We announced our severance from MGR the next day and it was over.
In the end MGR ended up costing us £3,516.60p and the tour with Monument £910 (£1,810 including the car we didnt use). We didn’t make any money on that tour, we were not paid for any of the nights and had to pay for our own fuel, food and accommodation whereas Monument did get a fee. Dan was never paid for any of his performances with Monument.
After experiencing that nightmare we were finally able to release our album which sold out of its first and second pressing and received extremely good reviews. We did write to a number of record labels, little to large in stature in the hope they would put out the record but sadly no one worth their salt was interested and the best offer we had was we that if we signed the rights of the album away to them we would get 100 free CD’s to sell and nothing more. As you can expect we declined. It’s a real shame The Waystone wasn’t put out on a good label and pushed as it could have been a big success. We proved on our own that it was a popular record and would sell but on our own backs financially there’s only so far you can go.
A few months down the line Chris was contacted by Lee Farmery asking if we would like to do another tour. Chris then got in touch with me and I was then able to speak to Lee about the offer. Basically Furyon were due to tour with Mordred who are a legendary band from the Bay Area but their singer had suffered a serious problem with his throat meaning he simply could not do the tour just days before they were to set out. The tour was a number of O2 Academy shows across Britain and Ireland and with transport/accommodation already paid for.
I agreed that we would do it and got in touch with the band. Chris was already down for doing it and Dan agreed, however doing so cost him his job and damaged him significantly financially. Anthony however couldn’t take the time off as he had too much financial responsibility elsewhere to enable him to just leave for a tour and his workplace wouldn’t give him the time off. Knowing our predicament I immediately got in touch with a guitar played called Saxon Davids whose band Entropy had recently split up and I had been in contact with him since. I had seen Saxon play a few times years prior and had said to Dan I would really like to get him involved with Kaine. I had pitched the idea of becoming a five piece with Saxon to the guys prior to the tour but they didn’t want to be further compared to Iron Maiden so it never got off the ground. Saxon agreed to do the tour and Dan set off to see him for a quick learning session a few days before tour and we then had one rehearsal. We were soon on our way to the meet up point after no sleep to do the tour and the next thing we knew we were in the back of the van on our way to Wales so we could catch a ferry to Dublin. Amazingly despite the timescale were even able to get some t-shirts done!
Along with Lee who effectively acted as our manager for tour, doing everything for us from running the merch to giving us some very sound advice, came Big Kev who helped drive the van and move the gear. Kev is also a great individual who was extremely helpful to us as a band and to both of them for doing what they did for Kaine I am eternally grateful.
We got onto the ferry and headed over to Ireland for the first time, another place I had always wanted to visit but never got the opportunity to do so. The ferry ride was good fun even though we had no sleep. I and Saxon were able to get into Ireland (and back) without any valid passports which was quite amusing! We met Mordred for the first time at the venue called the Voodoo and they were immediately very personable and good with us. We took to the stage having had no sleep and it being Saxon’s first ever gig with the band. He did extremely well although I don’t remember much of the set due to being so tired. We met up with our friend Ross Mc Eneff who is a singer/guitarist from Dublin which was cool. Seeing Mordred for the first time live was amazing. They were absolutely spot on given this was their first tour in many years and I was instantly blown away by how good the music was.
We headed back up to the U.K. to play Belfast which wasn’t a success for us. My wireless system was greatly affected by the lighting at the venue which meant I had to be wired for the show and a bit more stationary than I usually like to perform. Ipswich had just lost to Norwich that day which didn’t greatly improve my mood! I actually think we played alright but a reviewer absolutely hammered us that night! It would be the start of a recurring joke where after every gig I would tell Chris that we had another bad review and that they pointed out that he was a “shit Metal-core drummer” and a “stain on music”. It was only after the third time of me saying that he actually caught on to the fact I was winding him up! The venue was the Limelight and again we had to pack down quickly due to a nightclub starting which always makes things tough after gigs.
I asked Saxon that night in Belfast if he would be up for joining Kaine on the permanent basis and if I could ask the guys if that was possible. He agreed and I would speak to Chris and Dan at a later point about it.
Mordred were being managed on the tour by Matt Denny who we had also met before in Edinburgh on the previous tour and like Lee, Matt was extremely supportive of Kaine and a great guy to be around. He did amusingly lost his voice about two days into the tour which made talking for him a struggle for the rest of it but he was really enjoying himself as a big Mordred fan!
We then returned from Ireland to play in London at the O2 Academy Islington for a show attended by the likes of Malcolm Dome and Dom Lawson from the mainstream Metal press. We played as a five piece that night as Anthony was able to join us for the gig and it was a huge success, we even got a decent review! It was also the proof I needed to convince the guys that three guitars would work in Kaine but that was an argument to be had later.
After London we played Birmingham at the O2 Academy there. It was a tough audience as the local support had brought a large amount of their own fan base and many of them were quite hostile to us and we were given a few stinkers of reviews from that show, one of which didn’t like us because he didn’t like Germans playing British Metal. Yes. I do despair! The same people gave Mordred a bit of a lashing that night as well so it wasn’t just us who suffered.
The problem with these O2’s is they use a lot of Pay to Play and ticket selling bands to open the shows and help on their costs but in most cases musically the bands and their support don’t match what the bands on the tour are about and you just end up with two groups of disappointed fans. It creates a degree of hostility and competition which is unwelcome in the Metal scene.
Our next gig was at the O2/ABC in Glasgow for another great show in the city. We played the venue the same night as Blondie (who were playing another stage). While we had to lug our kit from a distance and park streets away, Blondie’s two touring buses simply parked in front of the venue much to Glasgow City Councils displeasure and they racked up a number of tickets which were stuck on the front of the buses which was quite funny to see. It was another great night although Saxon broke a string onstage which meant I and Sax had to head backstage for a quick change, almost like a Formula One pit stop while Chris and Dan covered for us with an excellent bass and rum jam. The advantage of me being wireless is I was able to turn on and join as we returned to the stage making the whole thing look like it was meant to happen!
It was then back down to Newcastle, which actually is a beautiful historic city at it’s core to play the O2 Academy there and again we met Karl and Andrew from Culloden and had a great day (and night) out in the city and overall another great gig. I was having the time of my life on this tour and it’s easily the best thing I have done in my life. Playing great venues with decent stages and good, receptive audiences was amazing but the fact at these bigger venues you can actually have a backstage area to get ready and relax and take a shower in after playing is a real treat and benefits your performance and morale greatly while on the road.
We then headed to Yorkshire to play Sheffield, again at the O2 Academy there. We managed to get lost in what appeared to be a maze backstage, along with Mordred where we couldn’t find the dressing rooms. Dan yelled “Hello Cleveland” in a reference to the Spinal Tap moment we were now living. We even lost Chris for about 40 minutes!
Next up was Liverpool for the first time as a band. This was a great night even though we managed to be accosted by probably the weirdest beggar I had ever experienced. He was desperately after food and kept hassling Chris for his dinner, I had bought an uncooked baguette by mistake (I don’t see very well) and some rather nasty Polish ham which I gave him. He then just walked into the pub with it! Gig wise the show was one of the best nights of the tour with the fans there being particularly wild and up for it, someone got so excited that they managed to puke up all over the floor! My amp actually blew up on the final section of Quality of Madness. It was great!
After the high of that Liverpool show we headed down to the South West to play Bristol. Now this was the biggest stage we had ever played in our lives but probably to the smallest audience. The Bristol O2 was absolutely huge and there was an audience there, just up in the bar area and not on the floor for our set. They really hated us. I mean really hated us. We were cheered ironically when we left the stage! It happens in music, especially when you have a crowd especially there to see the headline band and that’s what they want to see. You cant take it personally as music is subjective and what some may enjoy others may hate and there’s been a few times during our career when the audience has booed us or walked out during our set. Many people don’t know just how small of a band we are which means when they write nasty things about us, as a few did on this tour, on social media we would see it and respond which is quite funny! They just don’t expect you to see it! It’s not like we are Axl Rose! I suspect he may have a breakdown if he sees what people write about him! You cannot please them all and when you step up in front of a bigger audience you are going to get as much criticism as you are praise.
The last date on the tour was Brighton and it was a great way to finish the tour as it was a great night, we were even invited up on stage with Mordred and we signed off what was, and still is, the best thing I ever did in music.
As I said I am eternally thankfully for everything Lee, Kev and Matt did for us on that tour and actually giving us the opportunity to effectively enjoy that level of show and performance at last once in our careers. After all the rubbish on the first tour this certainly made up for it and if it wasn’t for that first tour we would have never been asked to do the second one.
Mordred were also awesome people as well as an exceptional band, they treated us like their own and always made sure we had everything we needed. They even bought our merch and watched our set each night which is more than you will get from small local bands! They were true class.
I don’t know if we will ever get to tour on that scale ever again. Chances are that was a once in a lifetime experience and given how we never really got picked up after The Waystone then I expect that may be the case. Even so it was still a great moment in my life and something I am immensely proud of. If I do nothing else with Kaine I can still say I did that and look back on that tour with fondness.
The difference between how we were treated by Lee, Kev, Matt and Mordred and what went down on the first tour is unreal. They didn’t charge us a penny, they made sure we had enough money for food, they helped us with the gear, they drove us to the venues, they supported and advised and they did it all because they are good people and that’s what it really should be all about. I really will never forget that and if I ever get into the position where I can support the next generation of bands in the same way, that’s exactly what I will do.
They say money is evil. Money isn’t evil. Some people are and it’s those few who exploit others for their own personal gain but on the other side there are people willing to help, nurture and support. Those are the people we need more of in Metal.
I previously tried to do something similar to this on our forum which didn’t reap many rewards so I have decided to give this a go as a blog on our website.
So what’s the purpose of this? I figured that it would be an interesting insight for people to read the thoughts and opinions of someone in a little known underground Metal band, how that effects life and what the situations we find ourselves in, while trying to be as honest about it as possible. My philosophy has always been tell the truth, even when we have been advised not to, and certainly our old management didn’t feel the same way I did. We were advised by them to let people believe we were making a living from the band, and that we were genuine rock stars so that people would feel we were above them and thus buy our material. The very suggestion of misleading people in such a way, or having such a low opinion for music fans and their intelligence is totally alien to me and thus why I feel this blog might be a good thing to do, to be different from the rest.
So what’s been happening with me in my personal life? Well not to get into too much detail I have dealt with a sudden and unexpected relationship split that’s left me feeling a little alone and abandoned so I have been coming to terms with this. I have also struggled with my work, having recently received a suspension and months prior had my hours decreased on top of losing the other jobs I was doing so my income right now is pretty low. Amazingly I am on nearly half I was when I was 21 (I am now 30!) yet my expenditure along with everyone else has doubled since then! It all makes for a challenge on top of the band that’s for sure.
I have been desperately learning how to drive on top of work and the band. I have been learning for a number of years now, and by all means can drive I just never passed the theory or practical tests due to time and money. I will hopefully complete and pass both tests this year and that will make life easier. Another issue I have had for two years is a shoulder problem which means I have been in some pain with that. I have had a few hospital trips and I now know its fixable (after being advised I may have to stop playing guitar) and I have been cleared to lift items once again. It’s improved no end since I started rehabilitation and hopefully this will also clear up soon enough.
In terms of the band as ever we have been extremely busy and had to deal with a number of situations. Ant left the band at the start of the year, so we are back to being a four piece with the line up now consisting of myself, Chris who’s nearly been with me for 4 years now, Saxon who joined in 2014 and Stephen who started half way through last year. I have to say the current line-up has worked extremely hard on what will be our third album and I am really impressed with how we are working as a team. The songs that Chris, Sax and Steve have come up with so far have been brilliant, and yesterday the three of them were busying working on new demos for a number of those tracks which we have also been road testing as part of our current live set. The demos are they produced sounded top notch and I am really pleased with how to project is going and the work they have put into Kaine.
Now for the downside. It’s never simple in music, we have had some label offers which we have taken seriously, and a number of other offers in other areas which if put together could have been potentially very good for Kaine. However, as ever, one side has outright refused to work with the other and its back to square one. The truth is, although having the support of a label would be nice, unless it’s one of the bigger ones then there’s very little point in signing. I am still responsible for finding the money for the recordings (which is always in the several thousands). A label will generally take upwards of 75% of the income from that album (often without paying for the recording and providing no advance) which means for us to break even on the record costs wise we would have to sell 90% more records then we would do if we self-released which puts the number of sales required in their thousands, an almost impossible task for a band our size. We know from The Waystone (which is close to breaking even) we can make back what we put in on the next record if we self-release, so unless an extremely good offer comes forward we are likely to stay put.
The way our band works, regardless of me being the founding member I always split any income we receive by as many members we have in the band. Everyone in Kaine is an equal and everyone gets a say in everything from image presentation to the song writing. I often have to loan the guys in the band for items such as amps, vehicles and the costs of recording which they pay back to me in monthly instalments or I take it from their % of the record sale income so they pay me back as and when they can.
Our mind-set is to work hard and whatever happens keep trying, and on that basis I had contacted potential management companies on top of labels at the end of last year but there seemed to be little interest in anyone taking us on. Management issues aside, it’s our ambition to venture out into Europe at some-point. We are already testing ourselves as a headline touring act in Scotland later this year to see if we can’t achieve any success out there on our own. The overall aim is to try and make the band pay us enough just too basically survive on so we can give up our day jobs and do this full time, but as many will tell you as an originals band (and a Metal one) this is extremely hard. I made the effort to write to hundreds of venues/promoters at the end of last year about booking us for 2016 and this resulted in just one response!
We had a tour offer “buy-on” earlier this year also. Now for those who don’t know what a buy-on is, these are mostly for tours done by the big to medium sized bands (but sometimes one off shows and festival slots too) to help them cover their costs and make a living on the road. Labels will often pay out to send their acts on the road with a known band, which they do to gain them exposure in front of what should be a potential audience. The tour offer was the Udo/Anvil European Tour as the support, and the cost to us would have been upwards of £30,000 which is simply beyond our means. This didn’t cover any transport, food or accommodation and we wouldn’t be paid anything for the shows themselves. Venues of certain sizes take a cut of the merch sales too, which would mean even if we had the money to buy on we would have to write it off as a loss. It’s disappointing that we haven’t been able to tour again since 2014 but it just hasn’t been financially viable for the band to do so.
Festival wise we also put ourselves forward to a number of small and medium one’s in the UK and Europe and again we were turned down for these. This cements just how fortunate we were to be given the opportunity to play Wildfire Festival in Scotland last year, because we may never get an opportunity like that again and is still probably my favourite ever gig with Kaine.
The bottom line is its extremely hard work trying to make a go of being in a band, Kaine has been going for 7 years now and we are really trying to break the next level. Everything we have achieved as an underground band has been purely through hard work, and hard work alone. Only the very lucky get that break from a label willing to invest the time and money in building a band and whatever happens we will survive as a DIY band with a strong, personal following and if that’s all we ever achieve we can be proud of that because it’s still a huge achievement in my eyes.
Finally, we were also up for a number of awards at the end of last year after we were successfully nominated with your support for Best British Band, Best Singer and Best Performance at the TBFM Awards. Sadly we didn’t win any of these as after the nomination stage TBFM itself picks the winners, giving all but two of the awards (I think!) to Reign of Fury.
Kaine have released the official posters for The Waystone tour this July in Scotland. The tour will be the band’s first stand alone tour and is entirely self funded by the band.
Friday, July 22nd – The Green Room, Perth
Saturday, July 23rd – Ivory Blacks, Glasgow
Sunday, July 24th – Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh
Doors at 7pm, entrance cost will vary between venues and tickets will be available on the doors.
A number of shirts and hoodies have been released on dizzyjam to support the tour which will not be available at the gigs themselves due to the expensive nature of the production. Shirts cost £12 and hoodies cost £22.00, all sizes available in different colours for both men and women. You can purchase them from here.
New Wave of British Heavy Metal revivalists Kaine have announced their first standalone tour as a band as they head to Scotland in July 2016.
The band, who did not do any supporting tours in 2015, have decided to make their first attempt at touring alone with three headline dates. The first date will be at the Green Room in Perth on July 22nd, then the Ivory Blacks in Glasgow on the 23rd and finally the band returns to Bannermans in Edinburgh on the 24th. The tour will be self-financed by the band and a special one off tour shirt will be made to help fund the trip.
Rage Sadler said: “As we weren’t able to do any supporting tours in 2015 we have decided to make our own steps to touring alone with a three date tour in Scotland next year. This is of course a risk as we will be funding the entire tour ourselves including promotion but we felt at this stage this would be a natural step for us as a band. Scotland has one of the best underground Rock and Metal scenes, so it was our natural first choice when it came to doing our first standalone headline tour.”
The band will be supported by Disaster Area and Storm of Embers in Glasgow and Damaj plus Nest of Vipers in Edinburgh. This tour will be Kaine’s fourth trip to Scotland having played there three times in 2014 supporting Monument and American Metal legends Mordred on their tours and performed at Wildfire Festival in 2015.
Kaine have been nominated for a number of categories for this year’s TBFM Awards. Rage Sadler has been nominated for the best singer award while the band has been nominated for Best British Band for 2015 and their performance at Wildfire Festival in Scotland earlier this year.
Also nominated was Wildfire Festival as best Independent Festival for 2015 and Dean Archer for his work at the Rock Den as best Independent Promoter, Kaine of course a regular band at his venue and will be the resident band there for 2016.
Kaine asks that you vote for the following nominations in the following categories;
Best British Band 2015: Kaine Best Performance in 2015: Kaine at Wildfire Festival 2015 Best Singer: Rage Sadler Best Independent Promoter: Dean Archer (The Rock Den) Best Independent Festival: Wildfire Festival 2015
The voting begins this Thursday at 6pm and will close on the 6th of December. You will be able to vote at the following link.
Kaine frontman and founder Rage Sadler recently posted on the band forum about his rebuilding project for Kaine in 2016 targeting venues up and down the country as well as achieving festival bookings and approaching record labels. To read the post please click here.